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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

Games Without Frontiers?

Socio-historical Perspectives at the Gaming/Gambling Intersection

Palgrave Macmillan


  • Seeks to situate the development of social media games alongside broader social, political, and technological changes

  • Looks at the gamification and ‘gamblification’ of everyday practice

  • Considers gambling in different international contexts including the UK, USA, and Australia

  • This is an open access book

Part of the book series: Leisure Studies in a Global Era (LSGE)

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 37.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction

    • Heather Wardle
    Pages 1-8Open Access
  3. Challenging “Play”

    • Heather Wardle
    Pages 79-101Open Access
  4. Concluding Remarks

    • Heather Wardle
    Pages 103-108Open Access
  5. Back Matter

    Pages 109-111

About this book

This open access book focuses on how and why digital games and gambling are increasingly intertwined and asks “does this matter?” Looking at how “loot boxes” became the poster child for the convergence of gambling and gaming, Wardle traces how we got here. She argues that the intersection between gambling and gaming cultures has a long lineage, one that can be traced back throughout the 20th century but also incorporates more recent trends like the poker boom of the 1990s, the development of social media gambling products and the development of skin betting markets.

Underpinned by changing technology, which facilitated new ways to bet, trade and play, the intersection between gaming and gambling cultures and products has accelerated within the last decade – and shows little signs of stopping.  Wardle explores what this means for our understanding of risk, how gaming and gambling entities use each other for commercial advantage, and crucially explores what young people think of this, before making recommendations for action.  


  • Sociology
  • Internet
  • Online
  • Australia
  • UK
  • USA
  • Reward
  • Risk
  • Money
  • E-sports
  • Leisure
  • Open Access


As digital gaming becomes ever more pathologised in the minds of many, this book avoids simple moral-panic responses in its examination of how some elements of digital gaming are becoming increasingly gamblified (and vice versa). By considering the industry as well as players, Wardle crisply lays out the terrain, why we should care, and the importance of studying this area without preconceptions.” 
- Dr. Mark R Johnson, Lecturer in Digital Cultures, University of Sydney, Australia

Authors and Affiliations

  • School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

    Heather Wardle

About the author

Heather Wardle is Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith Reader in Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow, specialising in gambling research, policy and practice.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 37.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)